While serving at an event called Life After Linfield, I was fortunate enough to hear some of the inspiring speeches of fellow Linfield College alumni. I came to realize that I owe Linfield even more than I thought.
One of the speakers mentioned that he was not a good student in high school. He barely passed, hated English, then decided to work after high school, vowing never to set foot in another classroom again. Then he had a change of heart and went to Linfield. It sparked my realization that the difference between the person I was in high school and the person I am now happened largely because of my choice to come to Linfield.
I was never a bad student in high school, I earned an IB Diploma and was a solid honor student, getting a 3.4 GPA average. However, I didn’t particularly enjoy school. My objective wasn’t to learn, it was to pass. Looking back on the person I was back then, I’m not particularly fond of my priorities and attitude either.
When I came to Linfield, my passions shifted, and I subconsciously began to understand the importance of learning, rather than simply getting a good grade. Consequently, my grades improved with this shift in focus, and I was able to earn a 3.9 GPA average and graduate early, in 3.5 years. Putting the numbers aside, I gained something immeasurable, that I didn’t even know I needed. I began to inquire, began to search for something to learn in each new experience, and began to actively participate in activities and events that would make me a better person.
Ultimately, leaving home, friends and family ended up bringing me closer to them. I was able to thrive in a small, supportive community where I would be forced to make new friends and could decide who I wanted to be–without anyone from my past reminding me of who I was. It was liberating and eye-opening. And in the (occasionally hilarious) environment that Linfield provided, I figured out who I truly am.